Album Review: Cooking with Dynamite! by Hawk Tubley and the Airtight Chiefs
“If you don’t floss your teeth on a regular basis, they’re going to fall out.”- Hawk Tubley
The phrase “a little bird told me” couldn’t be more apropos—”Some Kind of Pelican” reminds us all about the importance of dental hygiene in round-and-round acapella on Cooking with Dynamite! So who the hell is Hawk Tubley and what kind of homegrown hoodlum, Airtight Chiefs, is he hanging around with?
The band consists of front man, George Mostoller, along with Marshall Allen, Jason Bailey, Oteil Burbridge, Big Jim Burruss, Tym Cornell, Scott Grant, Mark Lanter, Matt Slocum, Don Thomas, Kevin Trainor, and Davey Williams, with a short run-in with the Bad Axe McGees and a weasel.
The album has 11 tracks—providing a solid 40 minutes of country, bluegrass, and rock and roll—the kind of barnyard shenanigans and slapstick sing-a-longs that can pull you out of that puddle of mud you managed to fall into on a day when “Nothing Good” has been happening. All I needed was a swig from a “Devil in a Bottle“, wrapped in a brown bag. This is my favorite song on the album—it’s got a catchy hook, telling how “the devil made a monkey out of me” and is impossible to not want to clap in time with the band.
As with all music, love is not far away. Though Hawk Tubley’s professions of love in “If You Were An Elephant” buck the trend of candies and cuddles and instead draw affectionate comparisons to spiders, iguanas, mosquitoes, and a barn. There is a strange musical madness that comes through in all the songs—as the album title Cooking with Dynamite suggests, Hawk and Company are riding the edge of rhyme and reason. And if you visit the hawktubley.com website, you’ll find original artwork of the odd garden variety, with pastoral drawings of cows and flowers.
“The Train”, ”Can You Tell Me,” and “The Road to Laredo” deliver a traditional folky, rolling sound, the latter with a story about a Laredo fried potato and vultures in the Oklahoma sky. If you’re looking for an easy afternoon album with a few friends or a light-hearted drive through town, take Hawk Tubley with you. Just don’t bring him into the tavern—the locals may not like his silly talk…